Thanks to some work I do with the Catholic Writers Guild, I was first acquainted with Tristan, a seagull with an aversion to flight and an affinity for the news, via the manuscript for Karl Bjorn Erickson’s new release, Tristan’s Travels. It delighted me so much I flagged it for gifts for a few of the middle grade readers in my life.

There’s something about important stories that use animals as the characters…it captured my attention in this book and made me smile. Part of it was the element of humor — Tristan is a character worthy of animation and reflective of some part of each of us. Though it seems ridiculous, at first, to have a seagull who won’t fly, it speaks to the part of me that shies away from the difficult things that God made me to do.

Tristan’s Travels weaves a theme of grace into a tale of animals trying to surmount an impossible distance to help someone they love. It is a tale that has deeper themes and Catholic undertones without shoving them down the reader’s throat. This is the sort of book I imagine myself — and my children — rereading many times, enjoying some new pearl and all the old laughs again each time.

I, for one, hope there are more tales of Tristan’s exploits!